flat·​tery ˈfla-tə-rē How to pronounce flattery (audio)
plural flatteries
: the act or practice of flattering
She uses the art of flattery to her advantage.
: something that flatters
A compliment is flatteryHarry Shaw
: insincere or excessive praise
He tried to win his teacher's favor with flattery.
obsolete : a pleasing self-deception

Examples of flattery in a Sentence

He tried to win his teacher's favor with flattery. a talk show host who is known for charming her guests with disingenuous flattery
Recent Examples on the Web The people, being sovereign, require the same flattery, the same humoring of their wishes, and the same sacrifices of truths, as a prince. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 9 Oct. 2023 If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the new burger joint that recently opened in Sinaloa, Mexico, really loves the food at California-based In-N-Out. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2023 Reported love bombing behavior includes intense attention or flattery given from a romantic partner in order to manipulate the other, especially early in a relationship, Chitra Raghavan, a psychology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told The New York Times. Conor Murray, Forbes, 23 Mar. 2023 Appreciation must be done without the expectation of anything in return, which draws the thin line between appreciation and flattery. Mike Masterson, Arkansas Online, 10 Jan. 2023 Saint Laurent Wyatt Harness Western Boot Imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, at least as far as these boots are concerned. Naomi Rougeau, Robb Report, 3 Oct. 2023 But imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and everyone’s been trying to figure out that piece. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Sep. 2023 If Ramaswamy isn’t tapped by Trump, all of his cringy flattery, 9/11 denying, and conspiracy-theory spreading may have been for nothing. Edith Olmsted, The New Republic, 24 Aug. 2023 If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then MoonPie wants a word. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 19 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flattery.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see flatter entry 1

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of flattery was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near flattery

Cite this Entry

“Flattery.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flattery. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


flat·​tery ˈflat-ə-rē How to pronounce flattery (audio)
plural flatteries
: the act of flattering
: praise that is excessive or not sincere

More from Merriam-Webster on flattery

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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